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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  December 31, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EST

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so long 2010, hello 2011. you are looking at new years in sydney, australia. there's a live look there just hours away from the big ball drop here in new york city. right now, new york's times square on high alert. we'll tell you what they're on the lookout for specifically. and a new year and a new congress. john boehner and the gop
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majority in the house try to roll back all of president obama's accomplishments in 2011? we'll talk about that. and to russia with love. russia's favorite spy. opening up about her espy nanlg secrets. it is final countdown to 2011. just 16 hours, 16 hours left to 2010. final preparations under way at new york's times square where roughly a million people are expected to pour into the cross roads of the world to watch that famous ball drop. thousands of police will also be on hand to keep everyone safe. nbc is live in times square. nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent richard i thingle here to talk about this. mara, let's start with you. >> in just a few hours crowds of people are going to begin streaming into times square to secure their spot here to see
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the ball drop. a lot of planning goes into the massive celebration, with all the crowds come concerns about security and potential for a terrorist attack. this year mother nature threw anth added everything into the amp my indications here, dumping almost two feet of snow on this city less than a week before new year's celebrations. >> three, two, one. >> a run-through of the famous ball drop. >> happy new year. >> a test of confetti showers, barricades being put into place at the cross roads of the world, party planning is under way. >> actually very excited. i'm really looking forward to it. >> reporter: almost a million people are expected to pack into new york's times square to watch the famous ball drop at the stroke of midnight and welcome the new year. >> the world is watching. the ball is dropping. and everyone is going to be watching new york city as they dovery year. >> reporter: but as excitement grows, so do security concerns.
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the massive crowds make the new year's celebrations a potentially attractive target for a terrorist attack. just this spring times square itself was targeted when a naturalized u.s. citizen tried to detonate a car bomb there. while officials say there is no specific threat against the celebrations this year, they are not taking any chances. >> we have a track record of success. as i say, we're not going to rest on that. we are going to be very much pro-active. >> reporter: police are implementing a number of security measures, including more than 17 miles of steel barricades to keep revelers in place. entrance point searches, and teams of uniformed officers and canine units. as security measures are being brought in, tons of snow are carted out. this year city officials have the added task of cleaning up after a monster storm dumped almost two feet of snow on the city. mayor bloomberg has been widely
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criticized for bundling preparations leading to unplowed roads and storm related deaths. >> response to the storm was inadequate and unacceptable. >> reporter: as sanitation department works to clear out leftover mounds of snow and ice from times square, the weather finally seems to be cooperating. temperatures are expected to hit a relatively balmy 39 degrees, thawing out the city and ensuring 2011 gets a warm welcome. now, some cities are already celebrating the new year. we're looking at live pictures here of fireworks at the sydney harbor as they welcome 2011. now, in terms of the security concerns here, despite the concerns and the preparations, this is a relatively safe celebration, one of the safest big celebrations in the world. in years past there have been relatively few problems or arrests. craig? >> down in the heart of it all, thank you so much. we'll come back to you later. appreciate that report. all across this country law
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enforcement out in full force keeping an eagle eye on new year's celebrations and other potential terror targets as well. joined now by nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engle. no credible threats in new york city. go ahead. >> i wouldn't say any specific threats that i've heard of. there's always the general threat. you have a lot of people, hundreds of thousands gathering in one place. new york city, attractive target for militant groups. they've attacked twice here before. so there's obviously concern. but no specific phone calls were coming tonight, so far so good. >> as mara just mentioned there, times square, the largest public party in this country every year. prime target for terrorists. but there's never really been any major problems there. what is it that new york city police do to make sure that doesn't happen? >> since 9/11 the new york police department has really created a world class intelligence and counter
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terrorism organization. the country as a whole is focused on fighting wars in afghanistan, fighting wars in pakistan, yemen, going abroad. nypd has internalized its focus and spent a lot of money on infrastructure, on radiation detection equipment, on security cameras, software to use the security cameras, sbintelligenc. it's created a world class system. if you saw on that interview in mar a's package there, there was commissioner kelly, police commissioner kelly. he was in a room, if you noticed there were monitors behind him. that room takes in security camera feeds. but it's much more sophisticated than that. it takes in thousands of security camera feeds. there are about 400 security cameras just in times square. and they don't just look around like you would expect a security camera scanning in a basement.
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they are programmed with algorithms effectively to pick out patterns. so if you typed in to the computer and you set up a program, you could say, i want to pick out every person in new york that has been seen by these cameras wearing a red jacket. >> wow. >> and they will identify that. if you set an alarm on these computers and say, i want an alarm to go off every time the same vehicle goes around a block three times or you can set it to four times or five times, it will set an alarm. obviously if you set to it one alarm, it would go off all the time. you determine the threshold. >> thank you so much. always a pleasure. happy new year to you. >> thanks. not just new york, fellow authorities are hypervigilant this time of year keeping close tabs of potential terror targets overseas not just in the united states. homeland security secretary
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janet napolitano is in afghanistan to meet with u.s. troops for a look at what we should focus on in the new year. joined now by nbc terror an lais and also a senior partner at flash point global partners. let's start with your read on the situation in afghanistan. right now troops remain on track. set to start leaving in july despite the fact that recent gains are described as fragile. what will you will looking for? >> well, look, there's two different problems in afghanistan. we have the problem of the afghan taliban and foreign fighters. the good news is over the past year we've scored impressive gains against foreign quifighte al qaeda. we've damaged their infrastructure. we've taken out of a lot of their senior citizenship and their funds. as long as the afghan taliban are in charge in southern afghanistan there will continue to be a sanctuary and foreign
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fighters will try to go there and join al qaeda. we have to be careful here that we don't withdrawal prematurely. if we do, al qaeda will simply regroup and rearm itself and, once again, they're going to try to strike at the ice. what we know now is that despite all pressure that we're putting on al qaeda in afghanistan, that they are still plotting to try to attack the continental united states. so it is a continuing threat. >> "new york times" reported that militant organizations along the afghan/pakistan border are starting to band together, starting to join forces and coordinate attacks and raids and even sending out patrols. could that give the enemy the upper hand there? >> this is something rich engel and i were discussing. this is not new news. this is cross filtration between the network, the pakistani taliban, and even foreign fighters. it's true that we're going to have to break up these networks because as long as the foreign fighters have local base, have local allies, they're not going anywhere. so it's important to focus in on
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that. >> outside of afghanistan, which country poses the next greatest threat, is it still yemen? >> i think yemen is a good pick. al qaeda and the arabian peninsula just put out a statement saying, await, our surprise, america, they are coming. we don't know what they're talking about but it's ominous message. and given the cargo bomb plot, sheikh, the yemeni-american cleric out there, there's every reason to believe they will try to strike at the united states and they have the capability to do so. they've issued some pretty serious threats in the past few months and i think we have to take that seriously. >> evan, thanks so much. appreciate that. >> thank you very much. tail end of 2010 and folks out west just cannot seem to catch a break from all the wintry weather. especially in arizona where the white mountains are experiencing whiteout conditions. check this out. driver visibility there down to barely a foot. phoenix also feeling the
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subfreeze thanks to a mixture of sleet and snow there. hundreds of miles of roads are closed as a result of the storm and many motorists are stranded. forecasters say more snow is on the way. speaking of bad weather, state police are sorting through an ugly mess on the highways of north dakota this morning. 100-car chain reaction pile-up on i-94. there it is. what a mess it is. whiteout conditions on icy roads there being blamed for that the tow crews have spent hours hauling off the damage. states now under a blizzard warning, so if you're out that way, stay off the roads. out with the old, in with the new, and with all the wicked whether that we've seen at the tail end of this year plenty of people are going to be glad to see it go. but we are not out of the wintry woods just yet. you just saw it out west. nbc's meteorologist bill karins looking at the forecast as we say so long to 2010. >> happy new year's eve to you,
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craig. this weather mat tern is amazing. i've got it all, blizzard warnings, very cold windchills and tornados this morning, believe it or not. the last day of december. we've had an official confirmed tornado report out of cincinnati, arkansas. it's a little small area. a house's roof was torn off and two barns destroyed in last two hours. it's still in the area of northern arkansas, crossing 540 heading out of the fayetteville area of arkansas. moving up through the ozarks, eventually up towards branson, missouri, is in the line of fire for that storm. we'll continue to track that and the possibility of any more tornado damage. crazy morning in chicago, too. thunderstorms going through chicago in the last day of december. we have heavy rain and also thunderstorms popping up throughout much of missouri and illinois. a very dynamic storm. on the back side we have heavy snow being reported through much of nebraska. omaha is about to get hit. same as lincoln. the temperatures are very, very cold. with all these thunderstorms, i was looking at the airport
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delays. right now o'hare is at 30-minute delays. yesterday we had over 3 00 flights canceled because of fog. blizzard warnings continue throughout much of south dakota. the areas of red there. north dakota. do not travel unless you really have to in the northern plains because this storm we're expecting one to two feet of snow to be blowing. it will be drifting. look at denver, you had snow yesterday and last night. now your windchill is minus 15. dangerous concerns for your travel and new year's eve. i'm happy to report, this storm heads up into canada. not a lot of bad weather left. it's probably the worst winter day you've seen yet. >> folks trying to head to pittsburgh for the winter classic, capitals/penguins, what are we thinking? >> 50 degrees and the chance of rain moving in during the day. and i know that they're very nervous about the safety of the players. the ice, it's refrigerated so the ice, if it rains, it will freeze when it hits the ice and make it more slick. a lot of guys wear the vicers. if it's raining they may have to
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wait until sunday to play. >> 50 degrees and rain doesn't make for -- >> no, may have to wait until sunday, unfortunately. >> thanks. a lot of heartbreak at uconn this morning now that one of the most impressive streaks in basketball history is over, last night, stanford beat the uconn women's basketball team, 71-59, ending the lady huskies '90-game rein. it just so happens that the last time the uconn women lost was two years ago and, you guessed it, to stanford. also, check out just who happened to be in the crowd cheering on stanford. condoleezza rice, now a professor there. perhaps she was the good luck charm the team needed. if you're planning a geta y getaway, the lowdown on the travel deals. plus, the green lantern is just one of the much anticipated films coming your way in the next year. we'll raise the curtain for a preview of what's ahead at the box office. we're just getting started. a volkswagen
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people are finding downtime in the holidays, it's not always easy to get away. nasty weather. airport delays we've been dealing with. traffic problems can make vacationing, can make it even more difficult. if you feel like you've missed out on travel deals don't worry just yet, it's plenty to be found. joining us now is the senior traveled or for travelocity. thanks for being with us this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> they're called dead weeks? >> yes. little known industry secret. first few weeks in january are known as dead weeks because to the general public has been traveling so much, we traveled over thanksgiving and christmas. most people want to stay home. but the you want to get away i've soon prices up to 70% off as compared to the peak travel
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week that we're in right now. >> we're talking airfare and hotels? >> and most importantly vacation packages. that's the easiest way to save book at the same time. >> if you could pick the best, most popular place this year, where would it be? >> las vegas. it's always vegas. it's always super, super hot. right now perhaps more than ever because just about two weeks ago a new hotel hoped there called the cosmopolitan of las vegas at the center of the strip. got almost 3,000 rooms. most have balconies. all have custom in-room bars. they have spas, blue ribbon sushi. if you go on january 2nd the rates drop to $135 a night, plus a free bottle of wine, plus $50 dining credit for the restaurants. not a bad deal. >> these are deals that can be found on various websites. i know you don't like to promote other websites but are they all over the web or directly to the airline or directly to the
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hotel? >> these deals i found all on travelocity. they're definitely on travelocity. >> for travel in 2011, good year, bad year? >> it's going to be a good year, i think. majority of deals will be found on hotels and resorts, more so than, say, airfare. it seems like people are ready to travel again. hopefully they will be out there taking advantage of the deals. >> genevieve, travelocity, thank you. have a great new year. as we end 2010 america online just released the annual list of the most sought after search items of the year. aol says that bedbugs was the hottest health topic on the web. the bp oil spill topped the list of the most searched news stories. and shoppers search for apple's ipad the most. of course, nothing fuels online traffic like controversy, right, propelling tiger woods as the top celebrity this year searched on aol. tiger, of course, started 2010 with his marriage in shambles,
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finally, after 58 days in limbo, senator lisa murkowski was officially declared the winner of alaska's senate seat yesterday. the governor there signed the paperwork certifying her win over tea party-backed joe miller. late yesterday afternoon, t. murkowski the first senator to win as a write-in since 1954 when strom thurmond did it in south carolina. as 2011 rolls in so will a new majority in the house right after the new year, john boehner will be formally elected speaker of the house and leader of the new republican majority. what's first on the gop agenda? joining me now, senior reporter for politico, jonathan martin. jonathan, boehner has started to layout that agenda. let's hear what he said a few weeks ago. take a listen.
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>> sure. >> we'll start first by cutting our own budget. it will be one of our first votes. then we'll turn our attention to the rest of the federal budget and the job killing policies that are denying economic growth, an opportunity for the american people, including killing the job-killing health care law. >> all right. let's start with the health care law, jonathan. >> sure. >> that's going to be the first order of business for the gop. is that realistically possible for those guys? >> yes, yes, no. yes, craig, in the sense that it's going to be probably first couple of weeks that they come back here in january that they will take that to the floor. try to repeal the health care reform law. of course, passed last year. given their majority in the house, the gop probably will have the vote to do that. but here's the issue. the senate, of course, still
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controlled by democrats, still a democrat in the white house. this is mostly a symbolic move. speaker boehner knows that. but you've got to bring it up for a vote at least because so many of the freshmen, so many incumbents ran on it so you have to vote on it symbolically to try to start the process of killing it. but, of course, harry reid is never going to bring that up for a vote in a million years. >> president obama's got new type of swagger coming out of this lame-duck session. do we see him continue to act as the compromiser in chief or is he going to have to move back to the left to appease some of th aggressives? >> depends on what he wants to do going forward in 2011-2012. given divided government on capitol hill, he's probably going to have to compromise more if he wants to get anything done substantively. if he wants to stake out his ground, obviously he could, you know, stand the thwart, the gop
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controlled house. if he wants to try and sort of make progress, try and get some more bills done, take some of those recommendations, buy his deficit commission to try to address big picture issues he's going to have to work with the gop in the house and mish mcconnell over in the senate, too, for the senate you have to have both parties to get anything done, especially when you have a majority like democrats do there now. >> before i let you go, john non, let's talk quickly here about the president's popularity. gallop tracking poll shows his approval rating is at 47 %. at this point in their presidency, bill clinton was at 40%. ronald reagan was about 43%. what can we make of the president being at 47% right now? what does that say? >> tells me he still has a very lowial following among liberals, among democrats. he's hanging in there among swing voters. he's not where he was. he's not where he needs to be to be re-elected but he's still certainly in the game.
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the challenge for president obama, though, is that unemployment right now has got to come down for him to get re-elected. it's very unlikely he can get re-elected, craig, in 2012 with unemployment hovering around 10%. very difficult historically. pass me some progress. >> senior editor of politico. thank you. >> happy new year. >> happy new year to you. she was sent back to russia in the biggest spooi swap since the cold war. now anna chapman speaking out for the first time. the secrets that she revealed on russian television. that's coming up. also, the controversy of decision by mississippi governor to we lease two sisters serving life sentence for armed robbery. was it politically no vates? was it politically no vates? we'll talk about that. prince. your core competency... is competency. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above.
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. welcome back on this new year's eve to msnbc. i'm craig melvin. relief, joy and celebration. they're releasing two sisters who are serving life prison
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terms for armed robbery. one of them needs a kidney transplant and the other has agreed to be the donor. justice correspondent pete williams has more. >> reporter: they've been locked up in a mississippi prison for 16 years. jamie and gladys scott serving life sentences for an armed robbery. punishment civil rights groups consider extreme. now the naacp is praising governor haley barbour's decision to let the women out on humanitarian grounds. >> thank you, governor barbour, when you're right, you're right. it's a shining example of how the power should be used. >> reporter: governor barbour did not say he was acting to create an injustice or call the sentence toos harsh. instead he said the older sister, jamie scott, 38, needs a kidney transplant to survive. the sisters no longer pose a threat to society, governor barbour said. medical condition creates a substantial cost to the state, $200,000 a year. the release of gladys scott will be allowed only if she donates one of her kidneys to her
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sister. the state says it was her idea in the first place. the decision follows a steady campaign of protests over the life sentences. neither woman had a criminal record, the victims were not seriously hurt, only a small amount of money was taken, and others more directly involved in the robbery have long since been released. some advocates for the sisters fought the state for not acting sooner. >> governor haley barbour calls the impending release of the scott sisters an early release. a release from 16 years of wrongful incarceration is most certainly not an early release. >> governor barbour's office says he took the case to the state parole board last august, but some in the state say his decision this week to release them was partly motivated by politics after he was accuse of making racially insensitive remarks in a magazine interview published last week. he's made no secret of his interest in possibly run for president. >> it's very difficult to
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separate politics from any governor's decision on such a very important and controversial matter when that governor is thinking openly about a run for the white house. but a spokesman for the governor calls it, quote, hily cynical to assume he acted for anything other than humanitarian reasons. a defense lawyer says the sisters hope to be released in a matter of days, free to move to florida where their mother lives. pete williams, nbc news, washington. >> here's some other stories we're watching on msnbc. sydney, australia, rings in the new year. you're looking at pictures that we've got just a short time ago. this is sydney harbor there. meanwhile, the countdown is on. less than 16 hours before the east coast here in the united states rings in the new year. here in new york, they are expecting a million people to jam times square, along with the sizable contingent of police and security as well. the nypd says despite being on high alert there's no credible threat to the city. ice is roads and nasty weather triggered a majorer
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pileup on i-94 involving nearly 100 cars, trucks and tractor trailers, as well. police had to shut down the highway in both directions to untangle that mess. some people were stuck in their cars for hours before rescuers could reach them. and five states are now experiencing wide spread cases of influenza. that's up from 0 just two weeks ago. alabama, mississippi, georgia, virginia and new york are all showing signs that flu season is in full swing. here's some good news, though, tests of the latest strain shows that it is well matched. tv showed a western movie for the first time this year airing the 2002 british film "bend it like we ham" to a reportedly awe struck nation. the government of course maintains a choke hold over the media usually airing patriotic anthems, military parades and homages to kim jong-il. russia's sultry spy anna
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chapman has revealed some secrets in her first major public appearance since getting kicked out of the united states last year. nbc's martin fletcher joining us live from our london bureau this morning. martin? >> craig, good morning. she's packed quite a bit of living in 28 years, sent back to russia in the bigger spy swap since the cold war, anna chapman, or annia chapman as she's known back home is creating a whole new persona. this is the price of failure, bring it on. anna chapman humiliated russian spy in america, superstar at home. >> anna chapman. >> reporter: subject of an hour-long tv show, the spy finally revealed her secrets. she lacks spy movies, may want to act and wants a pet lion. as for the question, were you a spy, her lips are sealed. but her life is quickly becoming an open book. an adorable child.
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she loved ballet and gymnastics. won prizes for reciting poetry. but the tv show's host stayed on message, future russian. i have a passion for shooting, chapman says. move over, james bond. anna chapman, cover girl, public face with a russian secret service. maybe they can teach her something after all. >> do we have any spies that hot? >> let me make it clear, it wasn't my idea to send her back. >> reporter: it wasn't chapman's idea, either. one of ten deported from the united states six months ago, accused of being russian spies. still, on the show, she had fond memories. >> translator: new york, it's an amazing city, she says. very interesting. very positive energy. she didn't have a bad word to say about america. and seemed to enjoy an old
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boyfriend's memory. anna was he first kiss, he says. anna chapman, enduring herself to russia. the failed spy appears to be groming herself for success in other fields. politics. man fair, she became one of the leaders of prime minister putin's political party. her recipe for happiness in life, loving your motherland. although wealth and fame doesn't seem to hurt either. she thinks angelina jolie is one of the most beautiful women in the world. and hints that she, too, would like to act. the host asked her who she would most like to act with in a james bond movie. her answer, just another star struck girl with a new face of russia. as for her dreams, remember she wanted a pet looiian, at the end of the show she was given a lion
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cub on a leash. craig, may all your dreams come true. >> martin fletcher from our london bureau, thank you, sir. appreciate that. a major milestone for the popular social networking site facebook. for the first time, facebook has become the most visited website of the year in this country. the site topped the list beating out google, yahoo! and youtube. currently there are more than 600 million facebook users. how do you say good-bye? lots of congress members won't be running in the new year. we're going to look back at some of their farewells coming up. also, who will be the major political players in 2011? political strategists name their topics. and there could be some surprises. come back. this is msnbc. with bengay pain relief plus massage
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president obama may be relaxing on vacation in hawaii right now but he's probably also taking stock of who he's political friends anden mys are as he heads into the new year
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with a slim democratic majority in the senate he could again be calling on republicans like scott brown, lisa murkowski, susan collins among others in the gop who helped him repeal don't ask, don't tell. joining me now, democratic strategist, peter and associate editor of the washington examiner, thank you both. we just put some pictures up, of course, of key gop senators who have helped president obama in the past. at this point what do we think the relationship of the incoming gop senators are going to be with the president? >> well, i think that it's probably going to be a little bit tense. you've got people like mike lee, people like -- you've bot people like rand paul, all of whom are sort of talking about a limited government agenda. this is something that president obama has not really achieved in his first two years. it's obviously going to be very tense. this is the tea party class in the senate. >> what do you think? >> yeah, it is going to be interesting. i think there are a lot more swing republican senators than
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tea party senators. most of the tea party republicans are in the house. but i personally think that we have to look out for in 2011 is whether or not harry reid, who most people underestimated in 2010 at their peril, now puts together a coalition of these new republicans to advance the president's agenda in 2011. that's when what i'll be looking for. >> j.p., you mentioned rand paul specifically. is it realistic to expect that the newly elected tea party senators, are they going to be able to continue to appease their base and also legislate simultaneously? >> you're seeing this sort of with jim demint, too. you have this guy who has been in office for a while now and he's been growing this coalition of tea party senators. and the important thing about the senate is not who you can get to come along with you really. it's more like who is going to be obstruct, who is going to be the stick in the mud.
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rand paul, pat tommey, mike lee, now you have this coalition of small government conservatives that are very strong. it's not just about placating their base. they're coming from a philosophical base where they're not just trying to get more votes, they're trying to prevent the growth of government. >> and trying to raise money before '12 as well for a lot of these guys. >> right. >> let's go to your picks. the folks to watch, the senators to watch in 2011. >> john thune is someone to watch. if he's serious about run for president we have to see what he sets up in iowa. tim pawlenty has been anointed as the hot commodity. >> do you think he will run? >>pawlenty is going to run. marco rube yio.
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>> he mentioned all the people i was not going to mention. paul ryan is going to be chairing the house budget commit me. he's going to have a lot of power. house republicans are going to change the rules so that way the budget chairman can simply set a cap on the kind of spend that congress can do, which basically means that one of the wonkyest, charismatic congressman is going to be able to limit what congress is going to be able to accomplish in terms of spending. that's actually a positive. that shows how serious republicans are when it comes to spending. >> i notice neither one of you mentioned jim demeant there on your list. okay. peter, j.p., thank you. did you have something else you wanted to gut out there, quickly? >> sure. jason is going to be interesting to watch, too. he may try to primary orrin hatch, as a tea party candidate. you know, it will be an interesting race. >> all right, j.p., peter, thank you both so much. >> thank you, craig. >> have a great new year. amid the flurry of activity during the lame-duck session of
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congress this month, one lawmaker took time to take the floor and talk about themselves. for many 2010 was their last year in congress, maybe in kol picks the look at how departing members chose to say good-bye. >> my wife has said by virtue of our retirement from the senate, is a little like going to your funeral, you're hearing all the eulogies but you're still alive. >> the senate is often called the most exclusive club in the world. but i wonder really if it's so exclusive if someone from a town of 300 people and a high school senior class of 9 students can travel from a desk in that small school to a desk on the floor of the united states senate. i think it's more like a quilt of all that's american. >> i have to pinch myself as a reminder that this has not been just a wonderful dream, the grandson of serbian and s
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slovinian immigrants is a united states senator. >> i have have been booed by fans in yankees stadium standing alone on the mound. so i have never really cared if i stood alone here in the congress as long as i stood by my beliefs and my values. >> we decided to start the civility caucus. it lasted three months. >> it has become commonplace to hear candidates with this body campaign on how they're going to washington to shake things up all by themselves. may i politely suggest that you're seeking election to the wrong office. >> in some corners, compromise has become a dirty word. >> in this institution, compromise is required. >> now, if my colleagues will permit a little parting advice from an old -- old bull, work together, play nice. >> on my office wall hangs a famous print, the senate in
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1850. there is henry clay. there daniel webster. >> i stand here at the desk of henry clay. >> i have the good fortune to sit at the webster desk. >> giants walked the senate in those days. my colleagues, they still do. >> mr. president, as i leave this body, one of the rights of passage is to sign your desk. i just did that. i did it in pencil. i figure that all of us will fade with time, and that signature will fade with time as well. the place will know us no more. >> but the hearts that we touch, the hearts that touch ours, we'll remember forever. i certainly will. >> so, mr. president, it is with great pride and deep humility, incredible gratitude to all of you here today as the united states senator, i yield the floor. thank you. thank you.
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right now you can take home a volkswagen for just your signature. like the cc, or the tiguan. huh. yeah, plus every vw includes scheduled carefree maintenance. really? that's great. there you go. oh, that guy's pretty good too. yeah, he's ok. [ male announcer ] it's amazing what you can do with a pen. sign then drive is back. for a limited time get any 2011 volkswagen for practically just your signature.
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oh, sorry, snooki, no ball drop for you. despite rumors that "jersey shore" star would appear inside her own ball in times square, not going to happen. mtv originally wanted to place the spray-tanned princess inside a clear plastic ball and lower her during the midnight countdown. that was the plan. fortunately the folks at the times square alliance decided to keep it classy. sn snooki is going to be doing her things in seaside height, new jersey. next entertainment roster promiseses to be a big one with harry potter, of course, leading the pact. the much anticipated secret to the deathly hollows. coming out, i should say, 2011. coming out this summer. along with several other big films expected to give the nation's box office a much-needed boost.
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"in touch" weekly senior editor is here to give us some of her insights into these felilms. let's start with the movies. they're citing the second part of "harry potter," "green lantern" and "pirates of the caribbean." >> i promise they're going to be more entertaining than snooki in a glass ball. >> i don't know. is there buzz on these movies already? >> "harry potter", the final part, the final installment of "harry potter." they split it into two parts. part one is still playing, making hundreds of millions of dollars. i think the third highest grossing film of 2010. now we have part two, the final battle coming out. everyone is anticipating this one. this one is a big movie. >> what about the "green lantern" for folks who enjoyed that comic book. >> ryan reynolds, already they're talking about a sequel for it. hasn't even come out yet and already talking about the
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follow-up for it. "pirates of the caribbean", the fourth one. what's interesting about "pirates of the caribbean," different characters, we're going to see penelope cruz and captain jack sparrow, without him there is no movie. i think people are going to flock to see this one because they're going to see him searching for the fountain of youth. >> movie, especially the ones you just mentioned. quite possibly the biggest entertainment story of 2011 will undoubtedly be the marriage, the wedding. >> yes. every possible aspect. >> in every possible aspect. yes, indeed. >> talking about prince william and kate middleton. this is happening in april. i think everyone is going to be focused on this. look at how much people are focused on it now as we get closer, as we know who is designing her dress, as we know what's going to happen that day, the viewer, everyone talking about it will just get even higher and louder as we get closer to the day. and then after it, we'll focus
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on their first public appearance together, what she's wearing and how much the media followed them and where they're going to be living and how their lifestyle will be. we're hearing all of that already. >> that's 20 separate stories right there. >> exactly. that will happen just in that week. then the following week after their wedding, another 20 or so. >> kim, thank you so much. always a pleasure. >> thank you. >> have a great new year. >> you, too. how would you like to ring in the new year with 237 million bucks? if you do, you best get a ticket for the mega millions jackpot. as of friday night the number's close to 442 million. no one has matched all the numbers. unbelievable. mega millions sold in 41 states, including washington, d.c. still ahead in our next hour, storm that wreaked havoc on the west coast is heading for the nation's mid section. look for the damage that is left behind. also, revelers getting ready to usher in the new year in times square. we'll take you live there on the other side of this break.
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